Friday, March 4, 2016

Focus on 5 for National Nutrition Month 2016

March is National Nutrition Month! This year's theme is focus on 5 - that's 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

National Nutrition Month bulletin board, Winter Hill School

It's a no brainer that most kids love fruit, but some might find vegetables harder to like, especially those dark leafy greens, like kale. We took on this challenge by introducing the students to kale chips. When baked with a little salt, kale becomes crunchy with a slight umami flavor. Check back with us for the full recipe.

Bunches of curly kale

Kale chips

David Heidkamp, Framingham Nutrition Intern, and Meghan Bodo, Food Literacy Educator, washed, ripped, massaged and baked the kale for our first tasting in the Winter Hill School cafeteria. After eating their lunch, students stopped by the tasting table for a sample.

David and Meghan are ready to serve kale chips!
Taste, then vote!

What did the students think? This delicious and healthy snack is not only good for you but it was very popular with the students at Winter Hill. Some students were nervous to try a new vegetable but were very happy once they did. One fifth grader said, “I wish I could have kale chips everyday!”  Seventy-nine percent (325 out of 413) of the students tried the kale chips. Eighty-five percent of those who tried it said they would eat it again.

Over the next month will host taste tests at the following schools:
Arthur D. Healey School, March 3
John F. Kennedy Elementary School, March 10
West Somerville Neighborhood School, March 17
East Somerville Community School, March 24
Dr. Albert F. Argenziano School, April 7

Special thank you to David Heidkamp, Framingham Nutrition Intern, Meghan Bodo, Food Literacy Educator, and volunteers from Shape Up Somerville and UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program. National Nutrition Month Activities are funded through the Somerville PEP Grant and Somerville Food and Nutrition Services Department.

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